From the Washington Examiner:

The libertarians’ take

Despite talk of frightening consequences, the idea of robotic policing does have supporters, perhaps surprisingly among some civil libertarians.

Ian Adams, associate vice president of state affairs at the free-market R Street Institute, said “predictability from within policing cuts both ways, but likely cuts favorably overall.”

“You will have fewer pretextual stops,” he said. “Once expectations are adjusted, you will have fewer issues with cops pulling over a car because they don’t look like they fit [in a neighborhood] or tailing a car for miles waiting for them to do something nominally wrong.”

In addition to reducing the potential for racial bias, Adams said a recent experience with a self-driving Uber vehicle in Pittsburgh made him realize “public policy will have to evolve” alongside the rise of automated vehicles.

Adams recalls going about 35 miles per hour over a bridge where cars with human drivers were accustomed to driving more than 50 miles per hour.

“You will see reasonability standards put into black-and-white traffic laws,” he predicted, such as a more flexible definition of stopping and a possible deviation from “bright line speed limits.” He believes increased civilian use of self-driving cars over the next few years will force changes in traffic laws before police broadly deploy their own autonomous cars.

Adams, who was involved in California’s legislative process of adopting self-driving rules, also anticipates new rules for data protection. “It’s going to be so much easier to collect massive amounts of information from these platforms,” he said. “But I tend to be less concerned about collection than use.”

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